The quality most desirable for starting a business? Realistic expectations. Of course, you need plenty of skills, experience and support, not to mention energy, initiative and a strong work ethic, but you should also understand exactly what is necessary to succeed. Related: Love Has NOTHING To Do With Starting A Business. Find out how! Not only do you need a realistic perspective about what you can achieve and how quickly, you need a realistic assessment of your own attributes, your strengths and your weaknesses. If you realistically prepare for a ramp-up that could take up to a year or longer, you can sufficiently capitalize your business, while also covering your cost of living. Of course, with an independent startup, it is not possible to know exactly what you may face down the road as you tinker with your concept and deal with unexpected costs. This is where the advantage of a franchise can be most helpful, especially if you don’t have much experience with a particular business. A franchise comes with a complete breakdown of costs, so you know exactly what you’ll be getting into. If you can’t afford it, you don’t do it. As most everyone knows, one of the biggest causes of failure for new independent businesses is undercapitalization. With a franchise, you know all the costs before you invest a dime, plus you have a back office team behind you. Some franchise companies will help you assess your skills and experience to see if they’re a good fit with their business model, but others will be happy to bring you into the fold if you have the franchise fee and seem willing to learn their system. A franchise coach can help you assess both your skills and direct you to a list of select franchises with a good track record of success for people with your skill set. Ultimately, the responsibility is yours for vetting the business, as well as yourself. So it’s absolutely critical you figure out what types of activities as a business owner you are willing and capable of executing. Certainly, with a franchise, you can get into a business with which you have little or no experience. This is part of the attraction. But franchisees have to be comfortable working the franchise system as it’s been designed. So, for example, if you don’t like managing employees or can’t stand selling, you need to stay away from businesses that require these skills. Still, it’s not uncommon for people to become so excited about a particular business concept, they gloss over the work of the owner or fool themselves into thinking they can perform tasks that aren’t actually within their wheelhouse. A good franchise coach can help the budding entrepreneur put his or her feet back on the ground and find a business that matches his or her skills and interests.
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Some businesses arrive and depart about as quickly as sunrise and sunset — think cookies or cupcakes or donuts. Sort of like a one-trick pony, catering to a fleeting taste is far riskier than seeking to serve a market niche with enduring demand. Related: The Entrepreneur’s Checklist: 7 Things You Need To Start A Business Sure the new cupcake confectionery might be jammed for the few months after opening, but after a while, people may start to crave cookies, banana bread or brioches and they’ll likely end up at the full-service bakery that supplies a treat for every mood. On the other hand, some things, like certain services, just never go out of style. Think about what you need on a regular basis, related to household maintenance and upkeep, educating your children or taking care of aging parents. So when you’re contemplating starting up a new business, always consider long-term viability, larger market forces and filling an ongoing market need. You can find plenty of choices in the service sector. Among the options are:
You fell in love with a little business years ago and have scrimped and saved to open one of your own. Now you’re this close to following your dream. Are you thinking of starting a business? Related: Love Has NOTHING To Do With Starting A Business As an expert in start-ups, let me just say whoa! To succeed with a new business, you require hard facts. And while it’s good to have a strong interest in the business, let reason overrule passion. It’s better to know the business side. Ask yourself, have you done your research? What do you know about the business? The market? Costs to operate? If you can’t answer these questions, you’re not ready to plunk down your money, or you risk losing it all. The better your preparation, the lower your risk. And the best way to get the facts about a business is with a franchise, which has dozens of owners, perfecting and improving the system along the way. If you’re keen on innovating your own unique business, there’s still a lot you can do to prepare. Get as much expert advice as possible and write a realistic business plan, which means allowing enough time to get everything up and running. Since you may be reinventing your systems as you go, be prepared for setbacks and be flexible enough to try new ideas. With a franchise, your very best resources are the franchisees currently operating all around the country. With any established franchise, you should find dozens of owners willing to talk to you. Just be sensitive to their time constraints and prepare your questions ahead of time. Talk to as many as possible.
How many of us spend hours daydreaming up ways to start a new career to rid ourselves of a boss and the rest of the annoyances of the humdrum 9-to-5 existence? Related: Ready For A Career Switch? Consider A Franchise More than half of American adults want a new career or to start their own business, according to CreativeLive’s inaugural Creative Jobs Report. Surely, it’s not surprising that people have a deep yearning to express their creative selves. According to the Small Business Administration, 63% of net new private sector jobs come from small businesses. Just over 400,000 new businesses are started each year, according to the SBA. The obstacles can seem daunting, especially when considering all the responsibilities you may have picked up along the way, like a mortgage, children, or even aging parents. While it may sound risky, there is a great way to get started that lowers your risk and comes with a complete toolbox to get you past the start-up phase. That is a franchise. The advantage of a franchise is it comes with a time-tested system as well as a network of franchisees already operating the business who can tell you how the company’s promises pan out in the field. All it takes is the decision to commit the time to a little research to help you find a business that works for you.
Everybody knows the job market is a bear, which is why lots of people decide to stay put in go-nowhere jobs. Better the devil you know is how the thinking goes. But is that really true? For women, a number of studies now support what many strongly suspected — that real barriers exist that slow or prevent women from advancing into the upper echelons of corporate America— the places where long-term strategic decisions get made, you know, the power circle. Related: The Entrepreneur’s Checklist: 7 Things You Need To Start A Business While we’ve seen some well known examples of women breaking through to lead big corporations, think Kraft, General Motors or Yahoo. Many more are left by the wayside and told to “lean in.” Nothing can be quite as demoralizing as not receiving your due advancement or compensation based on the work you perform. A recent study showed that women are underrepresented at all levels of American corporations; they’re less likely to advance than men and face more barriers to senior leadership. The 2015 study by McKinsey and LeanIn.org showed that at the current rate of progress, it would take a century for women to achieve gender parity in the executive suite. The truth is that for many people, the very best way to test your mettle is to start a business of your own. By taking the reins for yourself, you can see how high your hard work and ingenuity can take you. The good news is you don’t have to invent the wheel to make a go of it. There’s a perfectly wonderful time-tested method for starting out on your own, that is, with a good franchise. Instead of fighting ingrained, systematic conditions that might repress or even crush your growth, you can learn from a network of experts and backroom expertise and grow with a franchise business. The opportunities go way beyond fast food and cars. Lots of great franchises are thriving in business services that tap expertise acquired in corporate America. I tell my clients that a six-figure income is within reach and the upside can be considerably higher. The most important part of the entire process comes before you sign any contract and put up your sign. The key is to make a selection to match your expertise and skills and find a good franchise operation that can help get you where you want to go. This is where talking to a franchise coach or two is well worth your while. They’ve already done significant vetting and can help steer you toward operations that help new franchisees succeed and away from those that exist merely to milk their franchisees dry. Sometimes, it seems these clunkers get all the press, but lots of good franchisees are growing their earnings and achieving the work-life balance everyone craves. In fact, jobs in the franchise sector are growing faster than in the economy overall. So take charge of your career and start investigating starting a business today.